Kalamazoo College Announces 10 Finalists for 2015 Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership

Advertisement for Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice LeadershipKalamazoo College is pleased to announce the ten finalists for its 2015 Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership, a juried competition hosted by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL), in which one project will receive a $25,000 prize.

The 24-member Global Prize jury that selected the finalists included Kalamazoo College faculty, staff, and students, as well as social justice advocates from the Kalamazoo region. All have done work on relevant social justice issues represented in the applicant pool.

Kalamazoo College received 87 entries—in the form of eight- to ten-minute videos—from 22 nations and 18 states within the United States.

Finalists’ projects collectively address economic justice, cultural and environmental preservation, immigration, mass incarceration, reproductive justice, racial justice, gendered violence, trans and queer liberation, workers’ rights, and issues specifically impacting people with mental illness, youth, indigenous communities and children in the foster care system. The scope of each project varies, some focusing on local communities, others looking at national or transnational issues.

Here are the ten projects, listed in alphabetical order with their location.

  • At Crossroads: Forest Dwellers of India. Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • Bavubuka: Transformative Voices of Justice. Kampala, Uganda.
  • Black on Both Sides. Chicago, Ill.
  • Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Justice for the Injured Colombian General Motors Workers. Bogota, Colombia.
  • Mujeres, Lucha y Derechos Para Todas A.C. Región Norte del Estado de México, México.
  • Our Community Is Our Campaign. Madison, Wisc.
  • Radical Mental Health: Paths for Individual & Collective Liberation. New York City.
  • Trans Women of Color Collective: Shifting the Narrative. Washington, D.C.
  • Uno por Uno: Puente Human Rights Movement. Phoenix, Ariz.

“We believe these ten projects provide outstanding examples of transformative thinking and practice on both personal and systemic levels,” said ACSJL Executive Director Mia Henry. “The Global Prize weekend promises to be both inspirational to our community and pivotal for finalists. Leaders from all ten projects will have opportunities to learn from one another, as well as receive capacity-building support.”

All finalists will be awarded $1,000 and brought to K’s campus Oct. 9-11 for Prize Weekend. During the weekend, finalists will present their work to an audience consisting of a jury of global activists, members of the K campus, and the public. They will also engage with each other through a Global Leadership Exchange.

The recipient of a $25,000 Global Prize will be announced by Kalamazoo College President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran during the weekend. A full schedule and the list of jurors will be announced later this summer.

Kalamazoo College’s inaugural Global Prize for Social Justice Leadership, now a biennial event, was held in 2013. Jurors for that competition chose to split the prize among three projects.

The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (www.kzoo.edu/socialjustice) was launched in 2009 with support from the Arcus Foundation (www.arcusfoundation.org), including a $23 million endowment grant in January 2012. Supporting Kalamazoo College’s mission to prepare its graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world, the ACSJL will develop new leaders and sustain existing leaders in the field of human rights and social justice.

Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu), founded in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1833, is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the K-Plan that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, experiential learning, leadership development, and international and intercultural engagement. Kalamazoo College does more in four years so students can do more in a lifetime.

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Andy Brown

About Andy Brown

As the Director of News and Social Media, Andy shares the stories that distinguish Kalamazoo College through social media, the Web and the news media. Contact him at abrown@kzoo.edu.